New program provides lunch to Scottsdale/PV YMCA children

During the school year, more than 21 million kids nationwide receive free and reduced-price meals, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But when school lets out for the summer, only 3.8 million children participate in summer meal programs. Feeding Our Future is an eight to 12 week summer feeding program, in which Sodexo partners with community organizations to provide meals to children who are out of school for the summer, according to a press release.

More than 4 million free meals have been distributed to children nationwide since its inception in 1997, stated the release.

On Thursday, Aug. 6, Sodexo leaders fed children lunch at the Scottsdale/Paradise Valley Family YMCA, 6869 E. Shea Blvd. in Scottsdale, according to the release. The children had snow cones, popcorn and engaged in activities as well, the release stated.

With the addition of Phoenix, it now operates in 24 U.S. cities: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Camden, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Fort Worth, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New York, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Spokane, St. Cloud, St. Louis, Syracuse, Terre Haute and Washington D.C., the release stated.

In Phoenix, Sodexo leads this collaborative volunteer effort in conjunction with community partners, including Phoenix Children’s Hospital, local YMCA locations, FOCUS North America and Sodexo Foundation.

Childhood hunger is a particular concern in Arizona, which ranks third in U.S. for food insecurity rates with 456,760 children facing hunger on a daily basis, stated the release.

The Feeding Our Future program – which provides 420,000 meals to children nationwide, including 17,000 meals locally – expanded to the Phoenix area in June to help fill the nutrition gap for local kids who are out of school for the summer, according to the release.

The Scottsdale Independent is published monthly and mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses in Scottsdale.

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